History Books We Wish Were Taught in School - Part 3

Laura holding The Radium Girls and The Radium Girls: Young Reader's Edition

What book does Laura wish she was taught in school? 

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore! 


She read this book years and years ago and thinks it's an incredible book! 


The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore book cover


It's the story of these young women who are working in a factory painting radium onto watch dials right after radium was discovered to have luminous properties. 

Over and over, they would lick the end of the brush, dip it into the glowing green mixture, then paint the tiny numbers onto the watch faces. 

During this time, radium became the next super drug. It was said to have great medicinal value, and it was even fashionable to paint your nails or use it as lipstick. 

Overtime, the women working at the factories started to get sick. 

Their bodies started to deteriorate, their very bones dissolving, many women losing all their teeth and even their jawbones, others losing limbs. 

Then they began dying. 

This story is about these women's legal battles fighting for their rights against these companies who ultimately exploited them. 

It is heartbreaking and infuriating, but ultimately an important part of history for young people to learn about. 

She would love to see this book taught in high school. 


The Radium Girls Young Readers' Edition: The Scary but True Story of the Poison that Made People Glow in the Dark by Kate Moore book cover


There's also a Young Reader's Edition!


So now middle schoolers can also learn about this time in America's history.